BY ABEBE WOLDEGIORS
ADDIS ABABA—The summer wheat irrigation projects undergone in 12 woredas of Amhara state and 21 woredas of Oromia state are expected to realize import substitution soon, said Ministry of Agriculture.
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, the Ministry of Agriculture Wheat Irrigation Project Coordinator Daniel Muleta (Ph.D.) said that in the highland parts of the country following the harvesting of rainy season’s crops, summer wheat irrigation projects are to be in effect.
He further said that most of the farmers participate in Oromia and Amhara states are smallholder ones. The major objective of the irrigation project is to attract and encourage farmers to engage in farming during summer.
This year seed is supplied by the government freely and farmers also obtained other inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides on credit bases from farmer’s consumers association and unions. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency’s technical support provided farmers with an extension services.
In the future, the government will continue its due support to help farmers expand mechanized farming.
As to Daniel, the main purpose of the project is introducing wheat production through irrigation all over the country.
Currently the nation imports 17 million quintals of wheat from abroad and the nation has the potential not only to substitute but also to export as there is vast areas of land suitable for wheat production both in the high and low lands of the country.
Currently, using the rain-fed farming 30 quintals of wheat per hectare is produced and when irrigation farm expanded the production per hectare will rise up to 50 quintals. It is predicted that this year’s summer irrigation wheat harvest would surpass the volume of the previous rainy season.
The Ethiopian herald January 13/2021